Ramping up testing as statewide shelter set to expire in Georgia

Nation & World News

ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – We’re now 24 hours away until Georgia’s statewide shelter expires on Thursday night at midnight — but the governor says he’s reviewing health data and may extend it.

But if you’re medically fragile or an elderly individual, you’re asked to stay sheltered until may 13th, when the state’s public health emergency expires.

The Governor says he’s confident about his decision and says Georgia ranks 13th in terms of testing and 36th in per capita testing, moving up 6 spots in just a week.

Atlanta bureau chief, Archith Seshadri, explains how ready is the state when it comes to “Business as usual”

Just days after the governor decided to reopen Georgia’s economy, mayors across the state say they had no idea and had to find out through the news. We asked the Governor’s Office Taskforce before he decided to reopen Georgia’s economy. The Governor’s Office says he did consult and let the Georgia Municipal Association know but says there are too many members and he couldn’t ask each and everyone. Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms sits on that taskforce and says she wasn’t told.

“How hard it is going to hit the south primarily because of the African American community because of the health disparity, income disparity.”

As businesses in Georgia re-open — other states watch to see if this was the right move.

“As I look at people standing in lines for haircuts, and nails,  what we are seeing in Georgia is go bowling and we’ll have a bed waiting on you.”

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

“Now we are reopening restaurants and we are taking it further and who knows where we are going to be next week.”

Georgia tested a record 13-thousand people in one day this Tuesday, and has set up 50 test sites across the state.

“We have 3 things in place – adequate hospitalizations, plenty of testing and ramping up contact tracing capacity. We have been doing contact tracing and doing it very aggressively.”

Dr. Kathleen Toomey Public Health Commissioner, DPH

Despite states reopening, most don’t have a 14-day decline, including Georgia.

“I have said it before and I’ll say it again — I hope that the governor is right and I am wrong because if he’s wrong more people will die.”

Georgia’s state health department rolled out a new interactive COVID-19 dashboard — with emerging indicators, rate of growth, demographics, per-capita testing, and geo mapping to show hot spots. The site will now be updated hourly instead of twice a day.

If you want a free screening and show signs of COVID-19, you can download the Augusta University Express Care app at augustahealth.Org or call 706.721.1852.

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